Mitchell High School’s first possession of the game on Saturday ended with a steal and layup by Nathan Boehrns and the Kernels played catch-up for the rest of the night.
Class AA No. 3 Huron scored off three turnovers in the first four possessions of the game and raced out to a 21-7 lead at the end of the first quarter. In an attempt to come back, Mitchell rushed passes, shots and lost Tigers in transition.
The Kernels cut the lead to nine near the end of the second quarter, but could not get any closer, committing a season-high 17 turnovers in a 53-39 loss to Huron at the Corn Palace.
“At the end of the first quarter, we were down 14 and we lost by 14,” MHS head coach Todd Neuendorf said. “It all happened when they hit those shots and we didn’t come out to start the game. From then on, it was an uphill battle. They moved us off spots and made us shoot shots we don’t shoot.”
Huron (5-1) mounted an early lead on the shoulders of Kobe Busch, who scored 10 of his game-high 19 points in the first quarter, including a pair of deep 3-pointers. Boehrns stepped into another on a fastbreak to cap a disastrous first frame.
Mitchell (0-6) would settle in defensively in the second quarter, holding the Tigers to seven points and found a temporary solution for Busch. With Carter Jacobsen saddled with three fouls, Jonah Schmidt came off the bench to hold Busch without a point in the second quarter.
“Jonah came in and sparked us defensively, but we guarded like we were supposed to,” Neuendorf said. “... Somebody can’t come onto your home court and take you out of what you want to do. I would have loved to have more shots go in, but that’s not what caused the problem. We were shooting from places we weren’t supposed to.”
As the Kernels attempted to maintain pace with Huron in the second half, they struggled to find a consistent scoring threat to match Busch and frontcourt mate Teegan Evers.
While Busch and Evers combined for 35 points, Mitchell shot 13 of 48 from the field and 4-for-15 from the 3-point line.
The Kernels scrambled to put points on the board late, which resulted in turnovers and missed shots, but Busch and Evers thrived. Evers capped the win with a put-back dunk in traffic and a thunderous alley-oop from Busch in the fourth quarter.
“They executed how we wanted to break the press and we want to get out and run anyway,” Huron head coach Jon Schouten said. “When we can break that first wave, now we’re kind of on the run with an advantage. Our kids executed and it worked our way.”
Zane Alm led Mitchell with 10 points and 10 rebounds, while Jacobsen had 10 points and nine rebounds. The Kernels return to action against Sioux Falls Lincoln at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in Sioux Falls.
Huron 53, Mitchell 39
Huron (5-1): Landon Hegg 1-4 0-0 2, Hayden Hegg 1-3 0-0 2, Kler Hae 0-1 0-0 0, Cooper Fryberger 3-4 0-0 6, Teegan Evers 7-12 1-3 16, Kobe Busch 7-17 2-2 19, Nathan Boehrns 3-9 0-1 7, Derick Siemonsma 00-1 1-4 1. Totals 22-51 4-10 53.
Mitchell (0-6): Gavyn Degen 2-3 0-0 6, Macon Larson 1-3 0-0 3, Caden Hinker 1-12 4-4 7, Ben Helleloid 0-4 1-2 1, Carter Jacobsen 3-11 4-5 10, Ryley Johansen 1-1 0-0 2, Jonah Schmidt 0-0 0-0 0, Zane Alm 5-14 0-0 10. Totals 13-48 9-11 39.
H 21 28 43 53
M 7 17 27 39
3-point field goals: H 5-23 (Busch 3-10, Evers 1-4, Boehrns 1-4, H.Hegg 0-2, L.Hegg 0-2), M 4-15 (Degen 2-3, Larson 1-2, Hinker 1-6, Jacobsen 0-1, Helleloid 0-3). Rebounds: H 30 (Boehrns 13), M 36 (Alm 10). Assists: H 4 (Busch 3), M 6 (Six players with 1). Steals: H 12 (Busch 4), M 4 (Hinker 3). Blocked shots: H 1 (Busch), M 2 (Alm, Hinker). Total fouls: H 16, M 17. Turnovers: H 9, M 17.